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The Performance of Performance Standards

James Heckman, Carolyn Heinrich and Jeffrey Smith ()

No 9002, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper examines the performance of the JTPA performance system, a widely emulated model for inducing efficiency in government organizations. We present a model of how performance incentives may distort bureaucratic decisions. We define cream skimming within the model. Two major empirical findings are (a) that the short run measures used to monitor performance are weakly, and sometimes perversely, related to long run impacts and (b) that the efficiency gains or losses from cream skimming are small. We find evidence that centers respond to performance standards.

JEL-codes: C31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ifn, nep-ltv and nep-mic
Date: 2002-06
Note: LS PE
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Published as Heckman, James J., Carolyn Heinrich and Jeffrey Smith. "The Performance Of Performance Standards," Journal of Human Resources, 2002, v37(4,Fall), 778-811.

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